Uncommon Type


I don’t know what I’m going to do with two typewriters, but I can’t remember the last time I had one. Maybe in 1991, which may have been the last time I wrote a paper using one, back when you could actually turn in handwritten essays in blue books or notebook paper. I remember struggling to learn how to print out a paper for my Research Methods class over a year later, using our shared family dot-matrix, and ripping out the hole-filled margins carefully so as to not tear the sheets.

I also remember sitting in bed during high school, my manual typewriter on my lap, surrounded by what I recall may have been a couple dozen crumpled paper. My senior thesis for AP English. It was 8:30 am on a weekday, and my paper would have been due at 8:15.

My fingers are clearly out of shape, as I’m struggling again now, but not with the text itself or the ideas, but with the mere physical act of punching the keys hard enough to make a decent impression on the page. I guess I had more muscular, fitter fingers in college? Still, it only took minutes for my fingers to remember the natural rhythm unique to typing on the original keyboard. My friend had just half the story: part of the adventure is the typing itself.